French Flair in the Summit
April, 2009 - Issue #54
Cheryl Henson has lived in Santa Clarita for 25 years, but judging by her impeccable taste, she'd be equally comfortable a continent away.

The meticulous design of the finest French gardens has made a new home in the SCV. Here, Cheryl, along with her husband Tom and son Aaron, can relax amongst some of the finest outdoor accents Europe has to offer.

Dramatic water features, a cozy fireplace, stamped concrete and traditional awnings provide the physical foil for what grows most impressively at the Henson home: topiaries.

"The topiaries are my favorite," says Cheryl. "I like the formality of them." The collection of well-groomed plants makes an even more dramatic display because of where their roots call home. An extensive collection of French antique urns, gathered over the course of many years, fulfill their highest calling as encasements for the precision-trimmed, living accents.

And while much of the space does seem dedicated to richly-shaded blooms and creatively-shaped plants, there are numerous spots throughout the area that are just as hospitable to those who breathe oxygen instead of release it.

An outdoor living area has all the comforts of its interior counterpart, with an added bonus of front-row seating for spectacular SCV sunsets. The lot is perfect for entertaining, and because there are no neighbors directly behind them, the Hensons can enjoy a view of Valencia's paseos, too.

Readers hoping to avoid turning green with envy certainly will opine that this artfully-designed space was cultivated over decades. Alas, nothing could be further from the truth. "We've owned this home for 11 years, and it has been a process for the whole 11 years," shares Cheryl. "We'll go with something for two years and then rip it out and start again. Right now, though, we're pleased with the look."

The fact that the couple is happy with the appearance of their exterior space has much to do with their level of involvement in creating it. "We have taken a very active role in the design. This has been a very collaborative project. We both enjoy doing it; we have a good time," says Cheryl.
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